Author(s): Rell Hannah
The story of Central Station Records and its crucial role in the development of the electronic dance music scene in Australia and New Zealand from the 1970s to today. Founded in the 1970s, Central Station Records grew from a tiny Melbourne store into an iconic dance music brand, with physical stores in major cities, plus busy mail-order and export operations, and successful recording labels and streetwear lines. The focus was electronic dance music - from disco and house to hip hop and hardcore - and the whole lifestyle surrounding it. Meanwhile, sideline business Metal for Melbourne catered for another emerging and neglected market - heavy metal fans. In many ways, original owners Giuseppe (Jo) Palumbo and Morgan Williams were unlikely entrepreneurs. Both from the wrong side of the tracks in their respective birthplaces (Italy and New Zealand), they were motivated more by the prospect of achievement, freedom and fun than by any hunger for money and status. Unfortunately for them, freedom and fun were hard to come by for many years, as they contended with legal threats, supply embargoes and intimidation tactics. Fortunately, though, dance music took off in a big way. Generations of DJs, clubbers, ravers and radio listeners supported their stores and tunes. Based on interviews with fifty-plus leading DJs, producers and entrepreneurial creatives, 'Music Wars' is the story of how a new music form emerged from the underground and grew to become a major force in the mainstream. Baby-boomers may have marched in the streets for social equality, but the ecstasy generation drove radical social change by choosing to dance together in their thousands, irrespective of race, gender, sexuality or social class. At a time when inclusiveness is under threat right around the world, this is a story that must be told.